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Wednesday Jun 12 2019

Never saw Ali Zafar harass anyone in eight years, says latest witness in defamation case

LAHORE: A witness presented by singer Ali Zafar's legal team during a hearing on Tuesday claimed he had worked with the alleged harasser for eight years but did not see him harass anyone ever.

The hearing was the latest in a defamation case filed by Zafar in response to singer-actress Meesha Shafi's allegation of sexual harassment against him. It was presided by Justice Amjad Ali Shah, the additional session judge in Lahore, in the Session Court.

Sarfaraz was one of the two witnesses alongside Taha presented in the court to record their statements. The former is a former manager of Zafar while the latter the current one.

Sarfaraz asserted that he did not ever see Zafar harass anyone during the entire eight-year period he had worked with him.

Meesha Shafi, he said, had made baseless allegations against Zafar and those accusations have caused tremendous loss to Zafar.

No such incident of harassment from the singer-model occurred, he added, and confirming that he worked with Zafar as an event manager from 2008-2016.

It is noteworthy that in total, nine witnesses have recorded statements in the case to date.

Back in April 2018, Shafi took to Twitter to publicly accuse Zafar of physically harassing her on "more than one occasion".

"This happened to me despite the fact I am an empowered, accomplished woman who is known for speaking her mind!" her statement had read.

Zafar, on the other hand, "categorically" denied the allegations and threatened to take legal action against the actress.

"I intend to take this through the courts of law, and to address this professionally and seriously rather than to lodge any accusations here," the singer had said on Twitter. Zafar then filed a defamation suit against Shafi last year.

The suit, claiming damages of Rs1 billion, was filed under the Defamation Ordinance 2002. In the notice, the singer claimed Shafi damaged his reputation through false allegations of sexual harassment.

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